The Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Skye Bank Plc, Mr. Timothy Oguntayo, has disclosed that the bank’s agricultural portfolio had reached about 10% from five % two years ago showing its support to the development of the nation’s economy.
Oguntayo who said agriculture comprised a significant portion of Skye Bank’s portfolios, noted that from less than five percent two years ago, the bank has now raised its contribution to the sector to nine per cent and almost hitting10 percent.
The Skye Bank CEO, who spoke with select journalists on the sidelines of the 3rd Ogun State Investors’ Forum held in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, said the bank was supporting agriculture in nine states under the pilot agricultural scheme with focus on rice and cassava production.
“We have brought in international participants – those who have done it successfully in other parts of the world – to come and work with clusters of farmers; a group of farmers we have in Ogun State here, we have in Osun State, we have in the northern states.”
He said that the pilot agricultural schemes currently located in nine states and centered on rice and casava production, are expected to open up massive economic opportunities for young entrepreneurs and jobless Nigerians.
Speaking on the Ogun State Investors’ summit, Oguntayo said Skye Bank was partnering with the state in line with its retail focus on developing SMEs through agricultural financing in line with the import substitution strategy of the Federal Government of President Mohammadu Buhari.
“So, our intervention aligns with the programmes of the state. And when you talk about SME, you will be talking about agriculture; you’ll be talking about transportation, and you’ll be talking about small-scale manufacturing, value chain. And that’s what we are doing with Ogun State and at the same time, we are doing with other states of the federation.
He however, urged government at all levels to support all private sector’s efforts centred on wealth and employment creation as well as other ventures that tend to improve, and grow the nation’s economy, adding that government only needed to create enabling business environment for investments.